A fun night out with my brother, Bob.
I’ve heard the concept, “Everything that is happening to you, right now, is a result of your own thinking”, for a long time, and I’ve believed it to be true. I could even see how through unconscious, unhappy, thoughts, I’ve called many unpleasant things into my life. And even though I’ve accepted this truth, it always seemed a little bit like a punishing, condemning (of myself) approach to the challenging situations that I was currently struggling with. It felt like there was a big cosmic finger wagging at me saying, “OK, missy. You have created this mess and now you must pay the price!” It was also a vaguely threatening voice and the fear-message it carried was,”Don’t do that again!”
So I tried really hard to be different; to stop making mistakes, to be worthy, nice, honest, loving, open, accepting ….. I tried really hard to be a “spiritual person” so I wouldn’t get punished again, but just when I thought I finally figured out how to live without struggle, BAM, something would happen and I’d feel all of the old familiar emotions; blame, doubt, anger, self-loathing and discouragement. A voice in my head would taunt me with thoughts like, “You are just never going to get this are you? And why should you? You don’t have good enough thoughts, you eat a crappy diet, you’re undisciplined, you don’t meditate the right way, you’re way too selfish, you’re not that nice, you have a warped sense of humor…..” But the worst thought was, “You are never going to awaken.”
Then one day, I realized that all of the struggles I’d gone through, and were going currently going through, were things that I had chosen, not consciously, but at the deeper/higher level of my being. In a flash of insight I realized that the struggles were the necessary elements for awakening. I also realized that I had taken on certain challenges with the express purpose of overcoming them as a part of my unique path to awakening. I could see that they were actually the teachers that I had called forth.
Suddenly the vision came to me of a huge playing field/obstacle course and I could see each of us choosing a different and unique strand on the grid/line though the labyrinth, with all of the ups and downs, mountains and valleys, rivers, trenches, burned bridges, and dead ends, that ultimately led to the goal. There wasn’t a straight line for anyone playing this game and this was perfect, but for most of my life, I felt like I was on the wrong path and would look around at others and wonder why I couldn’t be like them…especially those who appeared to be awake. Then I’d try to get on their path by reading their books, attending their services or meetings, meditating in just a certain way, repeating certain mantras or prayers that they said were “the key”, signing up for (yet another) workshop or retreat that promised to open my heart, mind, eyes and ears. I’d feel inspired for a while but when the struggles (in my mind) returned, I would feel like a failure again….and hate the path that I was on.
But one day this changed and I knew that “the way” (my way) had been so clear, so simple, so perfectly tuned to who I was, that I had missed it. In that moment, my heart, mind, eyes and ears were opened to a new level of knowing that, yes, I created my realities and struggles, but instead of feeling this as a discouraging concept, I could see that this was the path to awakening and enlightenment and that the point of this game/life wasn’t to avoid, wish away, or hate struggles, but simply to be open to the Truth of what they were trying to show me. It was such a “lowly” seeming path that in all of my reaching and striving to be a better (i.e. different) person, I had missed it.
I could finally see that they had been trying to guide and lovingly teach me, for all of my life, but since I kept hating them, calling them bad, believing they were despicable, unfortunate, mistakes (much the way I viewed myself) they became tormentors for me and evidence of what I was doing wrong which blinded me to the truth of what they were/are: loving portals to awakening, expansion, abundance, and Good, not here to teach me a lesson (in the old strict, school master way) but to bring me to Heaven/Enlightened Consciousness/The Field of All Good/My Higher Self/God.
My path is not a mistake… and neither is yours. The so-called struggles cease to be struggles when I welcome them and with an open and curious mind, listening to and following their wisdom…wisdom that once gleaned, can be helpful to others, but not so I can say, “Walk in my steps”, but walk in and embrace your unique path, be open to it, for it will teach you everything you’ve been wanting to know, bring you your true heart’s desire, and finally make you grateful for who and what you are.